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F1 sprint race: What is it and how does it work?
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F1 sprint race: What is it and how does it work?

F1 sprint race: What is it and how does it work?

F1 sprint race: What is it and how does it work?

F1 sprint race: What is it and how does it work?
GPFans Staff

The last of three sprint races of the season takes place in Brazil this weekend but despite mixed reviews, F1 will increase the number to six for next season.

The initiative was introduced through three trials last season in a bid to drive up interest across the entirety of a grand prix weekend.

While Friday practice sessions are been important largely for set-up purposes for teams, each of the three days at a sprint weekend has a meaningful session full of excitement and drama.

The first F1 sprint race was held at Silverstone in 2021, won by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton.

GPFans has all the sprint details!

When are the F1 sprint races in 2022?

Three F1 sprint races were scheduled for this season. They are:

Saturday April 23: Emilia Romagna Grand Prix (Imola) - 16:30
Saturday July 9: Austrian Grand Prix (Red Bull Ring) - 16:30
Saturday November 12: São Paulo Grand Prix (Interlagos) - 16:30

NB: All times local

Brazil hosts the final sprint race of the season, with the 16:30 local start time translating to 14:30 EDT in the United States and 19:30 GMT.

The weekend schedule for Brazil now looks like this [all times local]:

Friday November 11: First practice - 12:30
Friday November 11: Qualifying 16:00
Saturday November 12: Second practice 12:30
Saturday November 12: Sprint race 16:30
Sunday November 13: Grand prix 15:00

NB: All times local

Brazil is the only F1 track to host a sprint race in both seasons.

F1 sprint race rules: How does it work?

An F1 sprint race changes the whole nature, strategy and flow of a grand prix weekend.

Instead of the normal two practice sessions on a Friday, the second session is now qualifying - which then determines the grid for the sprint race on Saturday. The qualifying session format remains the same, however, consisting of Q1, Q2 and Q3.

The actual sprint race on Saturday takes place over a distance of 100km, around a third of the grand prix race distance. Pit stops are not mandatory. The result of the sprint determines the grid for the grand prix proper.

The sprint race also offers vital championship points in its own right, with the winner scoring eight points down to the driver in eighth place scoring one.

What changed for F1 Sprint Races in 2022?

Perhaps the biggest difference from 2021 is the points scored in an F1 sprint race. Last year only the top three finishers scored points, this year it is the top eight.

There was also a change in status for pole position after furore in 2021. The fastest driver in qualifying is now awarded pole for the record books, unlike the winner of the sprint last year.

How many Sprint Races will there be in 2023?

There will be six sprint races held next season.

It had been hoped that six sprint races could be staged in 2022, with all 10 teams agreeing to the proposal. FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem, however, put the brakes on the matter as he looked into the long-term viability and validity of the sprints.

But it was confirmed earlier this year that the FIA World Motor Sport Council formally voted to agree to the six-sprint calendar.

The venues for 2023 sprint races will be confirmed at a later date.

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